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Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig

One of the best things about this book was how accessible the language and the subject was; it was an incredibly honest book. Haig successfully relates both his own story and some of the wider context of mental illness without it ever feeling heavy handed or too much like a lecture.

Haig writes in a concise way that makes sense, and that will hopefully help people who don’t understand what illnesses like depression and anxiety feel like. It isn’t always easy to talk about mental health, and arguably hardest of all to understand it if you haven’t felt it yourself, but Haig expresses it almost perfectly.

His anecdotes about his own life allow you to connect with him and his experiences, and the research he’s done and the information he’s provided about mental health is fantastic – but nothing made quite so much an impression on me as the tweets he included from other people, about their own experiences with mental illness.

My favourite of these tweets:  “The hole you’d leave is bigger than the pain you suffer by being.”

It’s probably the most crucial idea, and sentiment, that the book can give: even though you’re in pain, your life is important. 

Review by Cara Mackenzie

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